State Rep. Shanda Yates

The lawmakers says certain members of the House Democratic caucus and party made it clear she was not wanted within the Democratic Party.

Last Thursday, State Rep. Shanda Yates announced that she was changing her party affiliation, switching from being a Democrat to an Independent.

“My priorities as your representative this legislative session remain unchanged. I will continue to focus on securing the necessary funds to make critical repairs to the City of Jackson’s water and sewer infrastructure,” Rep. Yates said in a statement to her constituents.

The freshman lawmaker has represented House District 64 since 2020.

READ MORE: Rep. Shanda Yates announces switch from Democrat to Independent

But there appears to be more to this story.

Late Friday, Rep. Yates shared a tweet from the Mississippi Democratic Party that posted her statement on the switch with the caption, “Mississippi Democrats, take NOTICE.” Such attention drawn to a party switch has been rare for a state Democratic Party who has experienced huge losses over the past decade.

Yates said she had no intention of “getting into the drama associated with why” her decision was made, but given the Democratic Party’s tweet the State Representatives said her decision to leave the party “was made because I felt that it was the only option I had to remove myself from a toxic situation.”

“In the last week, certain members of my own caucus and party made it clear that I was not wanted within the Democratic Party,” Yates continued on the Twitter thread. “As such, I simply removed myself from the situation so that I could focus my efforts on representing my constituents to the best of my ability.”

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Rep. Yates was the only Democrat at the time to vote in favor of the Congressional Redistricting plan put forward by the Joint Legislative Redistricting Committee.

“I voted for the plan because it kept my legislative district within Congressional District 3,” Yates told Y’all Politics following the House vote. “Many of my constituents were vocal about wanting that. I represent them. I voted for them.”

Y’all Politics reached out to Rep. Yates following her latest tweets but has not caught up with the lawmaker as of this article.

However, Yates did speak with WLBT over the weekend. She said she remained focused on the water and sewer needs in the capital city as well as combatting the crime that plagues the area. She also noted that her agenda and goals have not changed, just the letter behind her name.

“I’m still certainly friends with a large portion of people in the Democratic caucus,” Yates told WLBT. “My politics have not changed. My goals have not changed. My agenda has not changed. The letter behind my name has changed.”

Rep. Yates also voted last week for the House versions of a teacher pay raise and the plan to eliminate the state income tax. All Democrats voted for the START Act that would raise teacher pay and 22 Democrats supported the income tax elimination bill.